INSIDE JUDAISM: The Concepts, Customs, and Celebrations of the Jewish People
By: Alfred J. Kolatch
In Judaism, practice and ideology are inextricably linked. While it is often difficult to draw strict lines between custom and law, taken together they unite individual Jews within a community as well as Jewish communities around the world. They also serve to give Judaism its continued relevance and enduring strength.
In Inside Judaism, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch, distinguished author of The Jewish Book of Why, explores the interrelationship between Jewish thought and everyday Jewish practice. He shows how concepts are manifested in deed. The entries in this wide-ranging encyclopedic work discuss such core ideals as goodwill, holiness, and compassion and demonstrate how they find expression through such practices as inviting a newcomer to one's home on Friday night, observing dietary laws, and supporting community charities. Inside Judaism also examines important subjects including the afterlife, conversion, and aging, and it celebrates life milestones such as preparing for a wedding and naming a baby.
Whether discussing the rationale behind such universally celebrated holidays as Passover or the medieval roots of gefilte fish, in Inside Judaism Rabbi Kolatch explores the essence of Jewish belief and the infinite variety of its practice. By presenting complex information in clear prose, cross-referenced and with a comprehensive index for ready access, he provides us with a level of understanding that makes possible a richer appreciation of the Jewish experience.
Alfred J. Kolatch, a graduate of the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which subsequently awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa. From 1941 to 1948 he served as rabbi of congregations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Kew Gardens, New York, and as a chaplain in the United States Army.
Rabbi Kolatch has authored more than fifty books, the most popular of which are The Jewish Book of Why and The Second Jewish Book of Why, The Jewish Book of Why: The Torah, The Jewish Mourner's Book of Why, Handbook for the Jewish Home, The New Name Dictionary, The Comprehensive Dictionary of English and Hebrew First Names, The Family Seder, and The Jewish Child's First Book of Why. Among his recent works are Great Jewish Quotations: By Jews and About Jews, The Presidents of the United States & the Jews, What Jews Say About God, and Masters of the Talmud: Their Lives and Views.
Hardcover, 720 pp.
Size: 7-1/2 x 9-1/4